Last week’s guest speaker was a tremendous hit, speaking candidly and humorously about his unassuming rise to notoriety as CEO of Virgin Produced, the entertainment division of The Virgin Group. The youngest of Virgin’s few CEOs, Jason appealed to the students with his laid-back demeanor and relatable stories –- some of which he made the students promise to keep within the four walls of the classroom. In an effort to keep Jason’s promise and increase our chances of having him back, those stories will not be disclosed here.

While Jason’s success story undoubtedly involves some good luck and good timing, it was the message instilled in him by his father that propelled him to pursue his dreams with such voracity. “Get off the sidelines” were his father’s words of advice which, taking to heart, Jason applied to build a career in the entertainment industry, forming his own company and thus gaining the attention of Sir Richard Branson. Jason quickly went from sideliner to front and center, admittedly “peeing on the trees” of some of his competitors. That said, Jason remains one of the least-intimidating big-dogs in the industry, having retained every ounce of his Texan charm and humility.

Jason delivered another equally as important message regarding frugality, sharing that he doesn’t believe money can buy happiness, that rather it is experiences and adventures with friends and family that will be most remembered.

Nancy’s “Quote of the Day” touched on another facet of Jason’s character – his creativity, which he applies to both his business and artistic sense. In the words of Alan Alda, “The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”

The lessons Jason imparted, coupled with his infectious go-getter attitude, made a meaningful impact on the students. Imploring the classroom to get off the sidelines and into the game, he announced the Virgin Competition. The winners will have the amazing opportunity to spend time working at Virgin Produced, alongside Jason himself. Thank you, Jason!